BY WILSON KUTAMBA
Farmers in Sembabule district have received a ray of hope after the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries -MAAIF approved their quest of the construction of two roads in a very sorry state.
The roads are Kyabi –Kyabalesa road measuring about 21.7 kilometers and Kanoni –Katusi –Kyamenya road measuring 14 KM.
The roads will be constructed under Rehabilitation/construction of agricultural access roads in food producing areas program under Labour Selling and Technologies program MAAIF.
The roads were launched by minister of foreign affairs Sam Kuteesa who asked locals to be supervisors of the project to avoid shadowy work.
“ We asked MAAIF to help us on the two roads because they have been in as a very sorry state although the roads are gateways of milk and food to Sembabule town and other urban centres like Masaka city, we are thrilled that they considered our request ,’ Mr Kutesa said .
He said although the two roads are supposed to be worked upon by district but the district budget towards roads is small to facilitate construction of good roads for farmers which prompted their lobby in MAAIF.
Engineer Steven Katwire who represented MAAIF revealed that the two roads will cost about shs 540M and the construction works will commence next work.
“Labour Selling and Technologies program MAAIF will take over the whole project because we have all the engineers and other tools to see this project done,” He said
He said Kyabi-Kyabalesa 21.7 Km will cost shs 500 and Kanoni-Katusi – Kyamenya will cost about shs 40M noting that it is although not final as variations may arise during actual construction.
He asked locals to welcome the project and support MAAIF because there will be no compensation due to available budget which can only work on improving the state of the road by improving transport network for farmers in agriculture producing areas.
The Sembabule district Engineer Konde Tamale applauded Minister Kuteesa for lobbying MAAIF to improved roads as state of the two roads was worrying given the received heavy rains I the area,”
“ The district budget for road fund is shs 900m to maintain all roads in the district but the funds for a good muramu road is about shs 500M and this restrains us from constructing standard roads due to limited budgets,” He said
He asked locals where the two roads will pass to support the project and avoid frustrating it with court orders because the roads will be 30 meters wide that is 15 each side.
“The most part of these two roads will pass through farm lands and we are sure that fences will be destroyed but we ask you to be calm and accept shifting the fences because we need the roads better than the fences,”
Mr Henry Mugume, a resident of Kyabi welcomed the project and asked fellow farmers to offer the said meters because the poor road network had stopped them from accessing markets for Milk and other produce.
“Some of us had stopped milking because we had no way to reach the main road or town where by motorcycles and cars could hardly reach the our area,” He said
Mr Patrick Rukundo another famer noted that they are ready to offer land such that the two roads can be worked upon however he was concerned that some roads consume a lot of money but contractors do shadowy work and the road ends up in worse state in a short period of time.
“We urge local leaders to access Bills of Quantities (BOQ) and share with us such that our monitoring work is eased because there we are able to know how many culverts and where they will be,” He said
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